African American enterprise in segregated America

November 1, 2012

Business, Remember yesteryear

African American enterprise in segregated America
North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company Building, located in Durham, began construction before the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and was completed before the Civil Rights Act of 1968.
By Dilemma X
Many cities in the United States developed African American business districts during legal U.S. segregation.  Here are just a few examples of these great American communties that were once the economic hubs of African American industry and culture:
Birmingham’s Fourth Avenue from 15th to 18th Streets North
Durham’s Fayetteville Street/Hayti District and Parrish Street “Black Wall Street”
Atlanta’ Auburn Avenue
Greensboro’s East Market Street
New York’s Harlem
Savannah’s West Broad Street
Jacksonville’s Ashley Street
Washington, DC’s U Street
Detroit’s Black Bottom and Paradise Valley
Los Angeles’ Central Avenue
During what was called “urban renewal,” thousands of people and businesses were displaced in many of American cities causing many to go out of business.  Some scholars trace racial integration to the decline of these African American business districts and businesses.
A brief look back at this history:
It is important to reflect on what these Americans were able to create even during times of great adversity.
Durham, North Carolina -Once the African American Financial Capital
From the viewpoints of: Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois and E. Franklin Frazier
Click link for pdf:

Video: A historical look Durham, North Carolina’s African American business district before desegregation

Video: Durham’s HAYTI district The Legacy of Black America

Video: Tulsa’s Greenwood District “Black Wall Street”

Video: Black Wall Street Tulsa Oklahoma 1921

Video: The Harlem Renaissance -New York City

Video: Washington, DC during segregation


Video: Washington, DC

Video: Atlanta’s Auburn Avenue

Video: Atlanta’s Alonzo Herndon founder of Atlanta Life Insurance Company

Video: Segregation at All Costs

Video: Racism in America: Pennsylvania 1950s Case Study Documentary Film

Video: Desegregation in Corporate America 

Video: The Tragedy of Urban Renewal: New York City 


About Dilemma X

Dilemma X, LLC provides research dedicated to the progression of economic development. Our services aid clients in enhancing overall production statistics. Please visit for more information

View all posts by Dilemma X


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

One Comment on “African American enterprise in segregated America”

  1. J. Njeri Wills Says:

    Thanks for the memories. Bitter-sweet, but it’s our story. I will share it with grands, and
    great grands. They don’t have a clue.
    Love your website. I heard you on WURD with Al B


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: